Choosing the best image editing software is complicated, not just because there are so many alternatives, but because they all do different things. It all depends on what you look for most in your photo editing software. Here are ten programs with ten different approaches.
The Nik Collection is an important collection of plug-ins once published by Nik Software but then taken over by Google when it bought the company. Google then made the Nik Collection free but it has now been bought for future commercial development by DxO.
Welcome to the fourth and final part of this mini-series on Google’s brand new film and camera simulation plug-in, Analog Efex Pro. It joins the existing plug-ins in the Nik Collection, now owned and distributed by DxO. Note: Following many requests, I’m republishing this article with the download link restored but the content unchanged. This […]
Usually, HDR images are pretty obvious. The technique is part of the ‘look’. But it’s also possible to use HDR to enhance regular images to add depth and drama, but winding the effect back just a little so that it’s no longer center stage. So for this shot I used DxO PhotoLab and HDR Efex […]
Verdict: 3 stars Sharpener Pro’s output sharpening tools are a reminder that images need to be optimised to look their best on different printers, and at different sizes. However, its ‘capture sharpening’ tools feel like they’re just a little too late in the workflow, when most of us would apply sharpening during RAW processing, or in the ‘host’ application used to launch Sharpener Pro.
Verdict: 2.5 stars Dfine feels like an old-fashioned solution to a problem that has changed. There are now many ways of controlling noise in-camera or in RAW software, and the real issue these days is not just finding a tool that can do it well, but doing it at the right point in your workflow.
Verdict: 3.5 stars Viveza is a great tool for making fast and effective adjustments to colour images, but it now feels a bit redundant. The Nik Collection’s other creative plug-ins come with equally powerful control point corrections of their own, as does DxO PhotoLab Essential, the Nik Collection’s new ‘host’ program.
Verdict: 4 stars HDR Efex Pro 2 manages to make HDR relatively easy, and it produces ‘good’ HDR which is dynamic, rich and exciting. It still wraps it up in a bit too much jargon, but it does produce a good variety of ready-made HDR presets so that you don’t have to get caught up in the manual adjustments if you don’t want to.
Verdict: 5 stars . Colour Efex Pro initially looks a little dated, but dig deeper and you’ll find its best filters are very useful indeed and the ability to combine filters into Recipes dramatically expands its potential.
Verdict: 5 stars For fans of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro is just superb. It recreates the depth, intensity and ’soul’ of black and white in a way few other tools approach.
DxO has released Nik Collection 2, but without any major overhauls to the seven Nik plug-ins themselves and with an addition you might not actually want. Hmm.